Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Masked Bicycle Bandit

Cold weather riding? Not a problem this year. Hey I found a couple of perfect solutions.
I wear my Scott Storm OTG goggles and my wonderful Gore Bike Wear Windstopper balacava. This face mask fits over my eye glasses, against the face very softly and is helmet compatible. Has nice ventilation holes around the face too. While on a trip in early November I went into my favorite store, REI (Recreational Equipment Inc). They had a huge selection of ski/face goggles. A very helpful sales clerk was very knowledgeable about which one would be ideal for using while bicycle riding. From his own experience, he said it would definitely keep the face much warmer. Those Minnesota bike riders surely know about riding in the cold - I lived in North Dakota right next door to Minnesota long enough to know what cold is! I had two criteria:
1. Had to fit over my eye glasses - comfortable and roomy
2. Had to be suitable to wear with a bicycle helmet. Be adjustable.
This goggle was designed with this in mind. It is high quality lens material, with anti-fog coating that prevents fogging up and quality construction so that one has good side vision while riding.
I look a little scary though, no? But when my eye area is getting hit with cold wind while flying down the roads the eyes can start to tear and the face feel so much colder. I will deteriorate into miserableness. This has been the greatest in those head winds and general cold weather riding.

Next best purchase was the Gore Bike Wear Windstopper Balaclava. It is a very light weight fabric, but don't let that Windstopper material fool you. It may feel thin and light, but it STOPS the wind all around the face, neck, ears and top of head. This one covers the top of the nose, yet is open for air, and over the mouth area it has a mesh pattern of small holes. These two things, my goggles and my balaclava all add up to a much more enjoyable ride in the wintertime.

Oh and I bought the face warmer, which is half the size of the full balaclava. Same material/brand. It's right here on Colorado Cyclist. It covers just the lower part of the face/nose/mouth and up on to the ears -- without covering the top of the head. I have used this a few times, but I like the full top of the head covered right now. I could though, wear this with a skull cap. Click on the highlighted words to view these items on the web.
Warning: It may be a good idea not to stop at the bank while out on your bike ride dressed in this garb. Could send the tellers into a frenzied panic mode : - )

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